Casual workers were among the worst hit by demonetisation, which came into effect from the midnight of November 8, 2016. According to Labour Bureau data, around 1.52 lakh casual workers engaged across eight sectors, including manufacturing and IT/BPO, lost their jobs during the three-month period of October-December, 2016.
Casual workers in the manufacturing sector were the worst hit with 1.13 lakh people losing their jobs during the period last year followed by 20,000 in the IT/BPO sector, according to the quarterly employment survey (QES) of the Labour Bureau on the employment scenario in the selected eight sectors, which also include transport, health and education, among others. The construction sector was the only exception where builders actually added 1,000 casual workers during the period. QES is an establishment-based fixed panel survey in the non-farm industrial economy of the country having 10 or more workers in these selected sectors. The Labour Bureau, a wing under the labour ministry, collected information from around 10,630 units as a representative sample in these eight sectors on an all-India level to prepare the report. The survey is conducted to assess the effect of economic slowdown on employment.
The survey, however, revealed that there was an increase of 1.39 lakh regular workers and 1.24 lakh contract workers during the period over the previous quarter. This does not include the number of jobs created by the self-employed, which contributed an increase of 11,000 employees, all in the manufacturing sector. Hence, the overall increase during the October-December, 2016 period was 1.22 lakh.
During the period, on a sequential basis, on an overall basis there were positive changes across the manufacturing (83,000), trade (7,000), transport (1,000), IT/BPO (12,000), education (18,000) and health (2,000) sectors. However, the construction sector experienced a negative change of 1,000 in estimated employment. There was no change in the accommodation and restaurant sector.
Of the total estimated 1.22 lakh additions in the workforce during the period, female workers comprised 52,000 and male comprised 70,000.
The Labour Bureau had been conducting QES on a smaller scale since January, 2009. Till December 2015, 28 such surveys had been conducted. Since the sample size for these surveys was limited to around 2,000 units in eight related sectors in 11 selected states, it started conducting a new series on a large scale so that employment situation for a sizeable segment of the non-farm industrial economy over successive quarters could be assessed. This is the fourth survey in the new series.